Kyogle club bowled over by bad luck

By JANELLE McLENNAN rrexp@northernstar.com.au AN ACT of God and an unparalleled act of human stupidity have dealt a body blow to the Kyogle Bowling Club and forced club officials to appeal for the community’s help.

Three days after 30cm of floodwater swept through the club early last month and caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage, vandals struck smashing three plate glass windows at the front of the club, several exterior lights and further damaging the flood-affected bowling greens.

And if all that wasn’t enough, the club to date has still not been able to find out whether the flood damage will be covered by insurance, and it has had to contend with rumours it hasn’t reopened since the floods almost four weeks ago.

“It’s been a bit of a nightmare,” the club’s secretary manager, Todd Newton, said.

“First the flood, then the vandalism. “But the Kyogle Bowling Club has a long and proud history going back 94 years and a bit of water is not going to stop us.

“We just need a little community support. We need people to come along to the club and have a drink or two.”

Despite what is being said on the rumour mill, the bowling club has been open for business since the Monday after the January 5 deluge.

About 60 club members volunteered their help on the Sunday to assist staff pull up the water-soaked carpets and clean up the kitchen.

“Thanks to the help of the volunteers, the club was able to trade on the Monday immediately following the flood, and we’ve been trading ever since,” Mr Newton said. “The only thing that’s different is that there’s cement floors instead of carpeted floors.”

Unfortunately, water damage to the bowling greens meant they had remained unplayable until this week.

“And if we don’t have bowls, we don’t have people at the club,” Mr Newton said.

Meanwhile, Mr Newton hopes to learn soon whether the club’s insurer will cover the water damage. “It’s all dependent on the hydrologist’s findings. He has to determine whether a flood or a storm caused the damage,” he said.

Mr Newton would not say what the club would do if its insurance claim was rejected.

However, he did say the club did not qualify for any government grants, although it might be able to apply for a low-interest loan.



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